Is the Catholic Church in de facto schism over 'Amoris laetitia'?

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Head of Vatican office for the interpretation of Church law

Coccopalmerio says there’s no doctrinal confusion over ‘Amoris’

 

Speaking to Crux on February 17, Coccopalmerio, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 as President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, said the book was his idea, written last July and abandoned in a desk drawer until recently, when he decided to publish it because he thought “it could be useful as a reflection.”

“Many speak about this argument, in favor or against [Communion for the divorced and remarried], and I thought it could be useful for common reflection,” he said.

According to Coccopalmerio, the summary of the doctrine and pastoral praxis when it comes to Amoris Laetitia is the following: “A member of the faithful finds herself [or himself] in a non-legitimate situation, and the first marriage is valid and indissoluble. Yet the person is conscious of the wrongness of the situation, has the desire to change it but can’t because it would hurt innocent people, such as the children. It’s my belief that this situation, with these elements, allows access to the sacraments.”

The presence of those elements has to be confirmed by a Church authority, he said, meaning a priest, “who knows well the life of these people.” Consulting with the local bishop, he added, is desirable, even if not strictly necessary, because the two should dialogue and have a “common solution.”

Asked if this interpretation applies also to gay couples who live together, some civilly married too, Coccopalmerio said that it’s “clearly” not the same situation because for Church teaching and doctrine, “it’s not a natural condition. We can accept them, welcome them, accept their decision, but it’s not [the same].”

Regarding the many interpretations Amoris has generated, the cardinal said that there’s no doctrinal confusion in the apostolic exhortation. If anything, the document is “too long,” which makes it hard for people to “want to read it.”

The eight chapter, Coccopalmerio continued, has created “some confusion” because it includes many elements. “If you want to have every element present in the text, it necessarily becomes, I wouldn’t say confusing, but at least not so simple, not so clear.”


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